CBI files charge sheet in PNB scam, names former boss Usha Ananthasubramanian
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday submitted a chargesheet against absconding accused Nirav Modi, former MD and CEO of PNB Usha Ananthasubramanianand and several others in the over Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam.
The charge-sheet was filed in a Mumbai court just before the 90-day period to file charges against those arrested ends. Following this, the accused will not be able seek bail.
Usha Ananthasubramanian, Managing Director and CEO of the Allahabad Bank, who held the same position at Punjab National Bank earlier, had been named as an accused along with other senior officials, according to the chargesheet.She was MD and CEO of the Punjab National Bank in 2016. A separate charge-sheet against Mehul Choksi will be filed later.
The agency has also named PNB executive directors K V Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, and general manager (international operations) Nehal Ahad in its charge sheet.
The agency has detailed the roles of Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Nirav Modi's company, officials said.
The charge sheet basically deals with the first FIR registered in the case relating to the fraudulent issuance over Rs 6,000 crore of Letters of Undertaking to Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds.
The agency has not given in detail the role of Mehul Choksi in the present charge sheet. It is likely to come up when the CBI files supplementary charge sheets in the case related to the probe of the Gitanjali group.
The agency has arrested 19 people, including PNB officials and top honchos of the firms of Modi and Choksi and Modi in connection with the case.
The CBI arrested former PNB deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty, single window manager Manoj Kharat, and Hemant Bhat, the authorised signatory of Modi's firms, the officials said.
Vipul Ambani, the president (finance) of Modi's Fire Star Diamond along with executive assistant Kavita Mankikar and senior executive Arjun Patil, CFO of Nakshatra group and Gitanjali group, Kapil Khandelwal and the manager of Gitanjali group Niten Shahi were also taken into custody by the CBI in February, besides others, they said.
Choksi and Modi allegedly got Letters of Undertaking(LoUs) and foreign letters of credit (FLCs) of $2 billion issued in favour of foreign branches of Indian banks based on fraudulent claims.
The accused PNB officials allegedly did not enter the instructions for these LoUs in their internal software to avoid scrutiny. They were sent through an international messaging system for banking called SWIFT, which is used to pass instructions among banks globally to transfer funds.
An LoU is a guarantee given by an issuing bank to Indian banks having branches abroad to grant short-term credit to the applicant. In case of default, the bank issuing the LoU has to pay the liability to the credit-giving bank along with the accruing interest.
The PNB officials allegedly sent these messages to Indian banks -Canara Bank, State Bank of India, Bank of India, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank - located in Antwerp, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Mauritius, Frankfurt.